This is the story of how a kid born during the Great Depression in Quicksand, Kentucky, became, in his day, the youngest college president in America, and of how he learned to lead. But this is not really a story about that kid, but rather about his four extraordinary teachers. The story begins in 1957 when Wireman meets the master of basketball, Adolph Rup, who launches Wireman’s leadership odyssey. The journey continues for more than forty years with three other mentors: Jack Eckerd, the king of retail; Bill Lee, the world’s nuclear engineer; and Hugh McColl, America’s premier banker. Here, Wireman shows us how his four “big guys” excelled and inspired others around them to succeed as well.
This book is masterful, and offers illuminating insights into the servant-leadership qualities of four 'movers and shakers'—giants of our time. It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to combine effectively leadership and service.
—John M. Belk, chairman, Belk Stores
Lessons From the Big Guys
arrives as our understanding grows of the important role civic leaders have to play in shaping our future leaders. Dr. Billy Wireman describes his personal experiences with four prominent servant-leaders who shaped his own thinking and career, and guided him to try to mentor others. This fine book makes a good read and offers a window into the lives of four interesting individuals at the same time.
—Gov. Jim Hunt